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How to Change Your Oil. Play video

How to change your oil

12 STEPS

You’re in luck. Changing the oil in your car is simple. Here’s how to do it:

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Step

Dress appropriately

Ensure you wear protective gear and dress appropriately to protect your skin and eyes.

Step

Raise the vehicle

Ask a friend to help you drive up onto your ramps. Slowly roll into a safe position and put the car in park with the parking brake engaged. 

Step

Turn off the engine and open the hood

Make sure the engine is off and the car has cooled. Open the hood and find the oil fill cap and screw it off.

Step

Find the drain plug

Now go underneath the vehicle and locate the oil pan and the drain plug. To be sure of the location of the drain plug, refer to your vehicle’s user manual.

Step

Drain the oil

Place a drain pan under the drain plug. 

Very slowly, because that oil is going to run out of there fast, unscrew the drain plug using the box end wrench.

You’ll want to pull in a way that won’t obstruct the flow of the oil. 

Give it a few minutes until all the oil has drained out. 

Step

Reinstall oil drain plug, and replace gasket if necessary

Once the oil has drained out, reinstall the oil drain plug -- and replace the gasket, if necessary.

Step

Remove the oil filter

Now move the drain pan so that it’s under the oil filter. 

Remove the oil filter with your oil filter wrench. Ensure the oil filter gasket comes off with the filter. If it doesn’t, remove it. 

Step

Prep the gasket

Coat the gasket with new oil to ensure a better seal.

Step

Install the new oil filter

Install the new oil filter, and tighten it up according to your vehicle’s specifications. 

Be careful not to over-tighten it, as it might be difficult to take off next time. Usually hand-tightening is enough!

Okay, stand up, dust off and head back to the engine bay. You’re ready to fill the crankcase with new oil.

Step

Refill the oil

Remember to always use the type, grade and amount of oil recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. 

Step

Start the car and lower the vehicle

Screw the oil fill cap back on, get back in the car and start it up. 

While the car is running, take a quick look under the car to make sure there is no oil leaking from the filter or the drain plug.

If everything looks good, carefully back down the ramp.

Step

Check the oil level

Turn off the car and head back under the hood. 

Grab the oil dipstick, pull it out and wipe it clean. 

Put the oil dipstick back in, and pull it out to see if the height of the film reaches the correct levels. 

If it’s within acceptable limits, put back the dipstick. Don’t be afraid to add more oil as required. 

Close the hood and you’re done.